‘Domestic labour’s creative touch’(2020)
Digitalised collage of disinfected receipts on carton paper
‘Domestic Labour’s creative touch’ sits at the intersection between the domestic and public spheres. The work symbolises a South Italian mother’s food shopping experience during the height of the COVID-19 crisis – a societally-imposed duty which perseveres despite the potentially lethal consequences of encountering the world outside. A new ritual follows this long-established one: Flavia’s mother climbs the five floors to her home, and once there removes her shoes and carefully disinfects them, along with every item bought during her shop – including the receipts.
Upon helping her mother to store the now-sanitised shopping, Flavia encountered these receipts, and was struck by their aesthetic and symbolic power. To her, they encapsulated her mother’s role as homemaker and keeper, the growing collective obsession with sanitisation, and the result of these factors combined: the extra labour imposed on women by the COVID-19 crisis within a patriarchal system, which demands women continue to carry out their domestic tasks despite the increased risk of doing so.
Conversely, Flavia imagines these receipts as an involuntary virtual revenge against the capitalist patriarchal system which, just like COVID-19, should be disinfected and dismantled.